To jointly establish necessary structures for economically viable hydrogen mobility, Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen and the district of Recklinghausen are working on a concrete implementation concept for the entire region under the title “HyExperts Region Emscher-Lippe”.

A positive interim assessment was given at the second H2 Regional Forum, which was held online on 29 April. More than 65 promising ideas and project approaches from the region were identified and will be brought together and developed further in project networks over the coming months. The local private sector in particular showed its commitment. The analysis also revealed a need for action. Often, there is still a lack of detailed information regarding technologies and economic operating models. The regional implementation concept with concrete options for action is to be presented in late summer.


Karin Welge, Lord Mayor of the City of Gelsenkirchen, says: “Hydrogen holds many possibilities and is driving a sustainable mobility transition in the spirit of the European Green Deal. In Gelsenkirchen, for example, our port already offers numerous connecting points for hydrogen as a source of energy. We see great development potential here.”

“Together with the federal and state governments, we see tremendous opportunities for climate protection and the domestic economy in hydrogen mobility. The necessary structures must come from the regions, and this is where our expertise in shaping things is called for. I am pleased to see how strongly our local companies are involved, both the private sector and municipal enterprises,” emphasises Bodo Klimpel, District Administrator of the Recklinghausen district.

“When it comes to future topics such as hydrogen mobility, we see considerable added value for all involved in regional cooperation. We can already observe that there is a great demand for green hydrogen for commercial vehicles in Bottrop, such as for local public transport. Here it is important to develop and strengthen value chains in the regional network,” explains Bernd Tischler, Lord Mayor of the City of Bottrop.

“With the HyLand programme, the BMVI is specifically promoting the development of regional structures for hydrogen mobility. This also creates new added value in the regions and we support the establishment of a decentralised and thus secure supply of green hydrogen throughout the country,” comments Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director of NOW GmbH, which coordinates the funding programme.


The development of the implementation concept has been underway since September 2020. During this time, a potential analysis was initially carried out to particularly identify the theoretical potential for the production of green hydrogen in the region. The amount of over 5,000 tonnes per year calculated for 2030 is sufficient to power around 40,000 cars, 1,250 trucks or 720 buses with climate-neutral and locally produced hydrogen. Furthermore, the future hydrogen demand for mobility as well as the required refuelling infrastructure in the region were also modelled.

In addition to the theoretical calculation, stakeholders in the region were approached to identify their potential hydrogen projects in the areas of production, transport and use. Their respective hydrogen demand or production potential was then quantitatively assessed. In the process, the work schedule was adjusted due to the ongoing corona pandemic. Working groups were moved to virtual spaces for this purpose and, above all, many individual discussions were held to compensate for the lack of larger networking events.

In total, more than 65 fascinating ideas and project approaches were identified and incorporated into the overall regional context. Based on these already recorded projects alone, a regional production capacity of at least 850 tonnes of green hydrogen per year can be inferred, which is met by a demand in mobility of at least 73 tonnes per year.

Further information on potentials and possible challenges in the region could be gathered in an online survey of interested stakeholders and in the course of two stakeholder meetings for logistics companies and municipal fleet operators. As anticipated, this revealed very specific requirements such as the need for filling stations and reliable workshops. Nearly 60 percent of all companies surveyed that are planning a hydrogen project in the region have a need for further information on economic viability and regulation, and 37 percent on hydrogen technology. The potential for attracting further activities and projects in the region is therefore accordingly high.

All findings and insights gained will be incorporated into the development of the implementation concept, which will also include concrete measures and options for action, and will form the basis for further elaboration in the coming months. In particular, cross-links between the various parties involved will now be increasingly established in order to facilitate synergies and optimise the economic efficiency of the projects involved. The completed implementation concept is to be presented to the public in late summer 2021.


About the project

Building regional structures for climate-neutral transport based on hydrogen is the goal of the Emscher-Lippe HyExperts region. An implementation study led by the district of Recklinghausen and the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop will develop concrete solutions that can also be transferred to other regions and elaborate them as an overall concept. Results are expected in late summer 2021. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) within the framework of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP2) with a total of 300,000 euros. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).



Dr. Hanno Butsch
BBH Consulting
+49 (0)221 650 25 – 323